A Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly known as a Google My Business (GMB) profile, is a free tool Google offers all business owners that helps them control and optimize the way their business is found and represented online. Your GBP typically includes your physical address, web address, phone number, hours of operation, and reviews. Read on to learn how to create your GBP, optimize it, and maintain it consistently to keep your potential clients fully apprised of your business operations.
Create Your GBP
First, you’ll need to create or claim your business profile by visiting the Google Business console here. Follow the prompts being as specific and detailed as possible. One of the final steps of the process will be to verify your business by mail, phone, or email. Be sure to personalize this profile to match and highlight your business branding. This may mean including a photo of your logo, slogan, or important content to your business. Be sure to link to as many potential contact channels as possible; you want to be easy to reach.
Have a host of happy clients? Ask them to leave reviews for you by providing them with a link directly to your business profile. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, consider posting a sign with a QR code in an easily accessible area to help simplify this process. Reviews are an essential marketing tool, and they do not cost your clients a dime. When clients take the time to leave a positive or negative review, be sure to engage and respond. Believe it or not, responding to negative reviews reflects well on your business and assists with your business’ search rankings.
Keep Hours Updated (Especially During the Holidays)
84% of consumers Google a business before visiting it. While small business hours may fluctuate during the holidays to accommodate staff shortages, gatherings, and family time, be as precise as possible with your business hours on your GBP. As shoppers and potential clients are out in search of last-minute purchases, you want them to be able to rely on the information you have provided. This will reflect positively on your business and encourage visitors to return to your location.
Updates and Maintenance
Your GBP is as crucial to the success of your business as your website, business card, and social media campaigns. If you update the info in any of these locations, update them on your GBP. Links to the website, your social channels, phone numbers, etc., should always be accurate and up to date on your GBP. There is a saying among digital marketing professionals that a website is a product, not a project. It should be updated and improved regularly. The same goes for your GBP.
Photos and Engagement
Your GBP allows you to upload recent photos. Including storefront images can help others quickly locate and find your store while searching for it. Additionally, pictures of the owners, general managers, or others intimately involved with the business can provide a sense of comfort to clients who have researched your business before visiting. Your GBP also includes a questions and answers section; this is an excellent opportunity to engage with clients and potential clients.
Why take advice from AXIOM?
AXIOM is a digital marketing agency with many years of hands-on experience working with small business owners. We remain apprised of advances in the digital marketing space and thrive on assisting business owners with establishing and growing their online presence. Follow our blog for more tips and tricks, and reach out directly for a business analysis or to inquire about potential partnership opportunities.
Here is a great video we recommend for additional details on the topic and the importance of the GBP.